A plane carrying 11 people crashed in a forest in central Cameroon on Wednesday, the Ministry of Transport said.
Air traffic controllers “lost radio contact with the aircraft” which was later “located in the forest” near Nanga Eboko, around 150 kilometres (90 miles) northeast of the capital Yaoundé, the ministry said in a statement.
A ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the plane “crashed” and rescuers were “trying to see if it’s possible to save anyone”.
The plane was chartered by a private company, the Cameroon Oil Transportation Company (COTCO) that maintains a hydrocarbon pipeline that runs between Cameroon and neighbouring Chad, official sources told AFP.
The aircraft, whose type and make was not made public, was flying from Yaoundé-Nsimalen airport to Belabo, in the east of the country, the ministry statement said.
It was the first major air catastrophe reported in Cameroon since 2007, when a Kenya Airways plane carrying 114 people crashed after take-off from Douala Airport. There were no survivors in that accident.
Three years later, an investigation by Cameroon’s civil aviation authority concluded that the crash was due to pilot error.
Since then, Cameroon has only experienced minor air accidents involving small passenger planes or helicopters.